German-Russian joint venture Helion Procopter is marketing Russian-built Mi-17 and Mi-34 helicopters for sale or charter to Western companies. It has begun a program to re-equip the large twin Mi-17 with Honeywell Bendix/King avionics with a goal of securing validation by Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) within 18 months.
Aviation International News » August 2001
In a move that will bring its total fleet to 95 rotorcraft, aeromedical transport giant Rocky Mountain Helicopter has signed to buy 10 Eurocopter EC 130B4s. The helicopter is essentially an enlarged AS 350 Astar, a rotorcraft long popular with the aeromed market, thanks to its relatively roomy cabin, low operating costs and good high-altitude performance.
Eurocopter president and CEO Jean-Francois Bigay has revealed plans to open HeliSim, a French-based helicopter training center with FAA level-D simulators for the AS 332, AS 365 and EC 155 helicopters by year’s end. HeliSim, to be located near Eurocopter’s factory in Marignane, France, is a joint venture between Eurocopter and Thales Training and Simulation.
Bogus and illegally manufactured parts have long been a danger in aviation, but arrests and convictions of the peddlers are generally rare. However, a federal court in Los Angeles has convicted a father and son for falsifying the records for a set of salvaged rotor blades that ended up on a Bell 47 that crashed in New Zealand in 1995, killing the two occupants.
Phoenix-based Simula has been awarded a $11.1 million contract for 490 front and side cockpit airbag shipsets for U.S. Army UH-60A/L Black Hawk helicopters. Dubbed cockpit airbag systems (CABS), the shipsets consist of airbags sited in front of and beside cockpit aircrew, with the side-mounted bag attached to whichever fuselage wall is closer. An accelerometer triggers the system when it senses a crash.
A Sikorsky S-76 hit an electrical tower near the port city of Chinhae, South Korea, on July 5 and crashed into the sea, killing eight of the 12 people on board, including the chairman of the country’s Dongkuk Steel Mill. The accident occurred during daytime, but “it was raining hard and visibility was not good at the time of the accident [about 11:45 a.m.],” a Chinhae police officer was quoted in published reports.
In a development that speaks volumes about the ongoing state of new helicopter technology development in America today, Boeing on July 12 revealed the 13th iteration of its much modified, through many variants and sub-variants, military CH-47 Chinook, ironically unveiling the new helicopter on the 40th anniversary year of the first flight of the number-one Chinook prototype.
Now that former city attorney James Hahn has been elected mayor of Los Angeles, helicopter operators using Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport might be getting a little nervous. Responding to community complaints about helicopter noise at the busy general aviation airport just north of Los Angeles, Hahn campaigned advocating an agenda that included, in part, a proposal to institute a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Canada’s National Research Council has won a patent on “an active and adaptive rotor-blade control system called Smart Spring,” which is designed to reduce the noise and vibration when rotor blades interact with the vortices shed by the tip of the preceding blades. Previous engineering approaches, according to NRC, have attempted to alter the varying aerodynamic load on the blades to reduce the onset of this vibration.
Rockwell Collins last month began operating as a stand-alone company following its successful spin-off on June 29 from former parent Rockwell International, now renamed Rockwell Automation.